Your Mental Health Amid the Pandemic. Replay June 26 HD Live!

Follow Our Live Coverage of COVID-19 Developments

New Target for Tumor-Killing Drugs Found

Scientists identify molecule necessary for survival of cancerous cells

Please note: This article was published more than one year ago. The facts and conclusions presented may have since changed and may no longer be accurate. And "More information" links may no longer work. Questions about personal health should always be referred to a physician or other health care professional.

THURSDAY, Feb. 26, 2004 (HealthDayNews) -- New research offers evidence that a particular molecule may provide a target for the development of drugs to treat a wide variety of tumors, including some that are resistant to conventional therapies.

The research, published online in Cancer Cell, found that the insulin-like growth factor 1 receptor (IGF-1R) is necessary for the survival of tumor cells and that using selective small molecules to inhibit IGF-1R may be a potential anticancer treatment.

Many previous studies have suggested that IGF-1R is a factor in cancer development in humans. IGF-1R is present in a broad range of tumor types. But it hasn't been regarded as a likely target for cancer drugs because many normal cells also contain IGF-1R.

In this new research, scientists from Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston and Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research Basel demonstrated that inhibiting IGF-1R had powerful effects against many kinds of cancer cells grown in the laboratory.

The scientists also identified two small molecules that are selective inhibitors of IGF-1R. These molecules offer potential for drug development.

"These results suggest that IGF-1R function is critically required for tumor cell survival, but dispensable for survival of normal cells in adult animals," study author Dr. Constantine S. Mitsiades says in a prepared statement.

"The preclinical activity of IGF-1R inhibitors against a broad spectrum of tumor cells and, importantly, their ability to sensitize tumor cells to a wide range of anticancer agents, highlight the major role of IGF-1R signaling for human malignant cells, and suggest that the molecular pathway of IGF-1R is an attractive potential target for development of anticancer therapies," Mitsiades says.

More information

The American Academy of Family Physicians has more about cancer treatments.

SOURCE: Cell Press, news release, Feb. 26, 2004


Last Updated: